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GAOL-BIRD
you think of the Aga Khan. Another nut ?   Or one of those things
with cherries ?'
* No thank you.'
'And really'in the same breath"we were quite comfort-
able. The rooms were pleasant and the food was good, and the
British were most polite. But'..,and here a dangerous gleam
came into her eyes...c what they didn't seem to realize was that
we would far rather have starved on a rubbish heap, in freedom,
than have been kept inside in luxury. We were utterly isolated,
but utterly. Not a fly came in from outside ; we saw nobody but the
doctor, and he always looked at us in a sort of terror as though he
thought we were going to be tactless enough to die or fade away
or do something generally embarrassing. And for three weeks
we had not a scrap of news. All the papers were banned, and
there was 110 radio ; even our families had no idea where we'd
been taken. We were guarded like precious jewels in a casket...
are you sure you won't have another cup of tea ?J
"No thank you/
"It's cold and it's black, but it Is tea.  Still, if you insivt.  Where
was I?'
"Being guarded like a jewel in a casket/
* So I was.    Well../
We can skip the next part of the story ; prison life is iuevitably
monotonous, even when it centres round so sparkling a personality
as Mrs. Naidu. Now and then, of course, there were brighter
moments ; one of them occurred when C. Rajagopalachari, him-
self an ex-President of Congress, came to visit Gandhi. The last
time C.R. had seen him Gandhi had been reading The Hound of
Heaven, and Sirs. Naidu had been sitting by him trying fco explain
what it all meant.
'Well,' said C.R., whave you finished that dog poem yet ? *
Perhaps the most dramatic thing she told me was about
Gandhi's famous fast of February 1943. A number of acid things
have been said about that fast; it has been suggested that the
state of the ilahatma's health chart varied according to the
political situation, that when the Viceroy looked like yielding,
Gandhi grew rapidly ^orse, and when it was quite evident that
the Ylceroy was adamant, Gandhi took a marked turn for the